This week’s Music Monday is a new song from Bruno Mars off his sophomore LP Unorthodox Jukebox, which is supposed to be released tomorrow, December 11th (get your copy on iTunes!)
Some songs need to grow on you before you realize their true quality. That was not the case with this song. I fell in love with it from the first moment I heard it. From the first two cords hit on the guitar, the song is hyped. No build up is needed. You’re immediately swept into the pounding beat and single note synth riff. Interestingly enough, it’s that synth riff that keeps a retro sounding song from feeling too retro. Well, that, and dubstep underlay in the bridge which thrusts it back into present day.
Now, you already know I like good bass lines, and Locked Out of Heaven has a great one – both playful and gritty. It makes you want to jump up and down and lose yourself, just like they’re doing in the song’s retro-feeling music video. The video made me love the song just a little more because it felt authentically reminiscent of the 1970s/80s, a favorite musical time period of mine.
I’d be remiss not to mention the similarities between this song and The Police’s sound. A lot of critics have noticed these similarities and have been comparing Mars to Police. He takes it as an incredible compliment, citing them as a group whose songs’ first notes have the ability to incite an immediate reaction.
For comparison, I’ve included The Police’s “Roxanne” and a mashup of The Police’s “Cant Stand Losing You” with Bruno Mars’ “Locked Out of Heaven.
 James Montgomery, Does Bruno Mars Think Heaven Sounds Like a Police Song? ‘Hell Yeah!’, (17 October 2012).